May Day Protests Sweep the Globe
Russia, Malaysia, Taiwan, France ... the planet marches
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2012 7:21 AM CDT
Updated May 1, 2012 7:31 AM CDT
A Greek Communist party supporters holds a red carnation during a May Day protest on Tuesday May 1, 2012, in the Aspropyrgos industrial area, outside Athens.   (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

(Newser) – May Day rallies are in effect in all corners of the globe, from Greece and Iraq to France and the Philippines—and, soon, stateside. What began as an international workers' holiday has morphed into an international day of protest, fueled in part by the Occupy Wall Street movement, with Asians clamoring for increased wages and Europeans blasting the austerity measures sweeping their continent. Thus far, all seems largely peaceful: Some 100,000 people took to the streets in Moscow, joined by a "happily chatting" Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin, reports the AP, while in Manila, some 8,000 red-shirted workers had their demand for a $3-a-day pay raise rejected by the president ... who was burned in effigy.

Reuters reports that 5,000 marched peacefully in Athens (though they held signs declaring "Revolt Now), and tens of thousands more are expected in Lisbon and in Spain, where unions have pushed for protests in 80 towns and cities. In the US, New York to Los Angeles and cities in between are bracing for what the Post predicts will be " hellacious commutes," thanks in part to a planned Williamsburg Bridge-to-Wall Street march and a "Bike Bloc" in Union Square.